Driving Miss Norma is a memoir about a couple who decided to give up a conventional life for a chance to live as nomads. Tim and Ramie lived in an RV and spent months in different locations, making friends, learning to live in diverse environments, and creating the life they wanted to live. As soon as I read about their background, I was hooked. I traveled out of a backpack for 6 months, and dreamed of living in one place for several months before moving on to another place, and so on and so on. “Real” life caught up with me, but I am still brainstorming how I can make a life like this work for me…eventually.
Anyway, Tim and Ramie visit Tim’s parents, Leo and Norma, for their usual visit and see that both parents have deteriorated. Tim and Ramie change their plans to stay awhile and help take care of Leo and Norma. When Leo passes away, Norma knows she can’t stay in that big old house by herself. She is diagnosed with cancer but refuses chemotherapy because it will compromise her quality of life. Tim and Ramie don’t want to give up their lifestyle, but don’t want to put Norma in a nursing home. When they ask her if she would like to travel with them… she says yes.
Tim is astonished because in his memory, his mother is timid and doesn’t take chances. But she has always wanted to travel and see certain places, so Tim and Ramie make an itinerary based on what Norma wants to see. They upgrade their RV so there is room for three adults and a dog, and room for a wheelchair to move. They change their lives without changing their lifestyle, and Norma comes along. Throughout the trip, they see her grow and change and fully live her life.
This book was beautiful. The writing style was very blog-like (because they were also keeping a blog, but still) but the stories told make it worth it. I love the idea of picking up and doing everything you’ve wanted to do, even if society is trying to push you to do chemo/what is expected of you. Keep on keepin’ on! The stories and photos of all the travel spots are amazing, as well as the kindness so many strangers showed. Not only should you read the book, but also keep up with them on Facebook.